Asher Witmer

rediscovering Jesus

9 Ways You Accidentally Make Your Wife Feel Ugly how you tear her down without saying a word

Before getting married, I thought being a good husband was about “being ahead of the curve.” Understanding the obstacles and maneuvering around them before we faced any seemed like a good plan. So, I devoured as many books on marriage and women as I could possibly find.

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I learned a lot of things. For instance, I learned that women long for intimacy more than they do for money. I learned that giving one small rose, helping out faithfully around the house, and cleaning up after myself are more romantic than a huge bouquet of flowers, an expensive anniversary getaway, and providing all kinds of fancy “bells and whistles.” Furthermore, I learned how to pursue my wife’s heart and how to have meaningful sex.

But there were a lot of things I never learned about in any of those books. Not only did I realize actually putting what I learned into practice is harder than it first appears, I discovered what I had learned were the more obvious problems in marriage. There are many more not-so-obvious issues we faced once the honeymoon dust settled down. In fact, many of them never made it into any of the books I had read before saying “I do.”

One of those issues I had never learned about were the many ways I accidentally make my wife feel ugly. Maybe one could change the word ugly for small or unwanted, but the point is after five years of marriage I am slowly waking up to the ways I unwittingly make my wife feel like mush.

In case you, like me, never read a book addressing any of these issues, I’ll share nine of them to help you better get “ahead of the curve.” 😉

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1. Tease her in public about a miscommunication we had

If there is any issue under-emphasized before marriage, it’s communication. We were prepared for money, sex, and family planning. But communication. . .AH!!

My wife works hard on this. Probably harder than I. Yet, there have been times we realize we miscommunicated and I tease her about it or make her feel it was her fault. She feels ashamed. And when I do it in public, it amplifies the shame. Perfect way to make her feel ugly in a hurry!

2. Only help out around the house or care for my wife’s heart when I’m wanting sex

It’s a myth that women don’t want sex as much as men do. They simply want to know we love them for more than sex. My wife wants to feel one with me as her husband, and one way we cultivate that is by doing life together. Including house life.

She’s not my cleaning lady; she’s my wife. My lover. And she wants me to make love with her. But if I only care for oneness with her as a prep for sexual intimacy, she soon starts feeling unwanted, small, or ugly.

3. Look at pornography

Nothing makes a wife feel uglier than when her lover is fantasizing about other women. Even if she doesn’t know he’s looking at pornography, she can tell his mind is not on her. His heart is not connected with hers. He is not brightened by her presence, and it makes her feel ugly.

Seemingly small, mere glances at other women also weakens trust and magnifies her insecurities. She begins wondering if she’s enough. If her husband is looking other places for pleasure and beauty. It seems to me a man who takes his marriage seriously will do whatever he possibly can to protect the moral purity of his personal life.

4. Peek at my phone while she’s talking

This makes anyone feel unwanted; especially someone you’re wanting to be one with. Unless she had interrupted me (which is another post for another day), when I peek away or look at my phone when she’s talking it makes her feel like I don’t care about what she has to say. Ugly.

5. Correct my wife publicly

Similar to teasing her in public, when she is talking and I correct something she said it makes her feel like child. As if she was telling a falsehood and I don’t trust her. This could also be said when she has made a mistake and I’m talking with others about it. Beautiful couples take responsibility for mistakes regardless of which person made it. If I point out she left the door unlocked, allowing someone to swipe our camera, it makes her feel small. Certainly not one with me.

6. Never creating opportunities to be close physically

Indeed, my wife longs for sexual intimacy about as much as I do. It simply looks a little different from I might imagine. A little more complete, actually. She really enjoys simple expressions of physical affection. It speaks of oneness, closeness, desire for her. And when she’s feeling close physically and emotionally, she doesn’t just “give” herself sexually; she wants to be given to as well. And she feels beautiful doing so.

7. Complimenting or teasing other ladies in flattering ways I never do my wife

Women are keenly aware of the target of our affections. If we are complimenting or teasing other ladies in ways that flatter and speak affection for them, and if we do it to an extent we never would our wives, they quickly feel like someone else has taken their place. They feel rejected and used.

8. Roll my eyes when she shares a fear

I do not consider my wife a fearful lady. She has done and allows me to do many things other women could never imagine because of the risk involved. But she has fears, nevertheless. Some big, some little. Even some I am tempted to roll my eyes at because they simply aren’t true. But rolling my eyes at her fears is a great way to communicate I don’t care about what she’s feeling. It’s a good way to make her “stay out of my hair.”

In other words, a perfect way to ruin our relationship and make her feel ugly.

9. Not allowing my wife to contradict me or express what she thinks

If I refuse to listen to her voice, diminishing her thoughts and opinions as being “contentious or disrespectful” whenever they contradict mine, she quickly feels unwanted, unneeded, and undignified. My wife has tremendous value to add to me and to others, but it won’t always line-up with how I’m thinking and what I’m wanting to do. The beauty of marriage is blending two different people into one magnificent entity that clearly honors both.

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The reality is, being a good husband has little to do with “being ahead of the curve.” It has more to do with humbly acknowledging our mistakes, recognizing the power we have to speak life and beauty into the woman who has given her whole being to us, and continuously growing in doing so.

I suppose there are many more ways I accidentally make my wife feel ugly. Maybe you have discovered a few yourself. I’d love to hear them, if you have. Feel free to share about it in the comments below.

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About Asher Witmer

I am a son of God, husband, father, and difference maker. I love helping people sort through hard questions they face and rediscover Jesus. I have written three eBooks dealing with church frustrations, and send out daily posts addressing faith, church and relationships.

  • Joshua Gingerich

    Great article! I like what you are saying about especially being sensitive with our public comments to/about our wives.

  • Vernon Kuhns

    You made some valid but seldom-heard points – thanks. #1 & #5 are ones that I’ve failed in, but thanks to my wife being dedicated to improving our communication, you weren’t the first one to make me aware of this “little” pitfall.

  • Phil Durham

    My wife was talking to me as I was reading this. Then I got to number 4. I put my phone down 🙁 Thanks for the lesson.